One of my favorite hiking spots on Norris Lake is turning out to be the Chuck Swan “Lost Creek Cemetery” hike that I’ve talked about before. Over the 4th of July, Jim and I joined Pat and Bill C. on a short kayaking trip to the trail head. We hiked a total of 3 miles in, following the road to the right at each intersection until it followed a deeply wooded ravine with a creek. Not far in, we spotted a painted turtle laying her eggs smack dab in the middle of the dirt road. (Note: I include a photo of a box turtle for comparison. They are not the same.) The road was dry as a bone, but she must have used her urine to make mud so that it would be easier to dig. As a side note, when we returned a few hours later, she was gone and her hole was covered up – barely noticeable.
At the end of our hike that day, before we turned around, Bill spotted a beaver dam where the creek crossed the road. It was beautifully built and was a good 3-4 feet difference in water level. What a sight to behold.
We’ve had a couple of 100 degree days lately and it has taken its toll even on the wildlife. Jim was the first to spot this box turtle spread eagle on some dry dirt, trying to stay cool, during our evening walk tonight. He was a big one!
No less hot, Jim and I headed for Norris Lake earlier this morning with our kayaks. There was a breeze, causing some little whitecaps, so the lake was choppy, but we still had a good time. We decided to circle the island at marker 23. The island shielded the wind on the east side and it was quite calm, a welcome respite. It reminded me of the movie “On Golden Pond”. There was a little inlet that had a lot of birds nesting in the bushes in the water and along the shore. It was fun to glide in and try to find them hidden in the bushes. One species looked like a skinny duck with a blue body, a black head, and bright orange feet. I also saw a King Fisher.
On the way back, we stopped at Lost Creek Cemetery. This was Jim’s first time there, and while he was exploring the area, I happened upon some wildlife. I spotted a praying mantis, two snake skins, and a live baby bird, no bigger than a golf ball, that was hiding in the grass at my feet. At first I thought it had fallen out of the tree, but it had feathers and I think it was just learning how to fly.
I went on a great adventure hike to find “Lost Creek Cemetery” in Chuck Swan with friends Julie & Fred. Lost Creek Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Sharps Chapel and has the graves of some of the original settlers, including Conrad Sharp and Isaac Sharp.
We started the hike in the interior of Chuck Swan and found that Lost Creek Cemetery is only a stone’s throw from the Norris Lake shoreline directly across from the Sunset Bay development. I can definitely see taking kayaks over for a short excursion in the future.